The Houston Astros travel in from Texas and open a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday, August 16, so we’ve prepared the best Astros vs. Royals betting pick and odds for the second contest set for Tuesday night with the first pitch at 8:10 PM ET.
These two American League foes meet each other for the first time since 2019, and the Astros have won 11 of their previous 13 games against Kansas City (Monday night’s opener has been excluded from the analysis). Houston is listed at -185 to win Tuesday’s clash, while the Royals are +170 moneyline dogs with a total of 9.5 runs on BetUS Sportsbook.
The Astros are topping the AL West
The Houston Astros entered the Royals series as the best team in the AL West, but the Oakland Athletics were just 2.5 games behind them. The Stars fell to 70-47 on the season following a 3-1 defeat at the Los Angeles Angels last Sunday and put an end to their four-game winning streak.
Houston owns the highest-scoring offense in the majors, tallying 5.36 runs per game, but the Astros have scored 50 runs through their first 12 outings in August while posting the 13th-worst OPS in baseball (.736). They’ve gone 6-6 in that span despite a sparkly 2.78 ERA from their pitching staff.
Framber Valdez will get his first career start against the Royals on Tuesday. The 27-year-old lefty met Kansas City twice in 2019 and yielded five earned runs on eight hits and a walk across just four innings. Valdez was outstanding in 2020, and he’s 8-3 with a nice 3.09 ERA in 14 starts this season. Framber has had some ups and downs in 2021, posting an 81/40 K/BB ratio across 84.1 innings of work.
The hapless Royals continue a ten-game homestand
The Kansas City Royals fell to 49-67 on the season following last Sunday’s 7-2 defeat to St. Louis. It was their fourth straight loss at home, as the Royals got swept by the Cards after a 2-1 defeat to the Yankees in a three-game home set.
Kansas City sits bottom of the AL Central. The Royals have gone 4-9 in their first 13 games in August, scoring only 46 runs in the process and posting an awful .230/.285/.333 batting line.
The Crowns are struggling on both sides of the ball. They’ve registered a 4.93 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over the last couple of weeks, while their bullpen has a 4.13 ERA in August. Rookie Daniel Lynch will get the nod Tuesday, and he’s 2-3 with a disappointing 5.97 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in seven starts (31.2 innings).
Lynch rejoined the Royals’ rotation in July and has a 2.66 ERA in his previous four starts. Last week, he yielded three earned runs across 4.2 frames of work in an 8-4 home win over the Yankees.
- 11-2 in the last 13 games against Kansas City
- 6-2 in Framber Valdez’s last eight starts
- 4-11 in the last 15 games overall
- 2-8 in the last ten home tilts against Houston
Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals Pick
The Astros bullpen boasts the lowest ERA in the majors this month (1.33). Houston needs more from its offense, and this is quite a favorable matchup, so I’m backing the Astros at moneyline odds.
Framber Valdez is unpredictable, but he’s got solid run support lately, and the Astros have emerged victorious in six of his last eight starts. On the other side, Daniel Lynch will have a tall task against the Stars. Houston is slashing .273/.341/.432 against the southpaws this season.
Pick: Take Houston Astros at -185
The Royals are more dangerous when facing the lefties, posting a .720 OPS on the season, and they’ll look to score early, as the Astros bullpen might be too much, considering the visitors’ recent form. Framber Valdez is struggling with his control, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the slumping Royals put a few runs on the scoreboard.
Hereof, I’ll take the over, but the side bet looks like a sure shot. The Astros should have enough firepower to score five or more runs, but their bullpen could easily shut down the Royals.
Pick: Go over 9.5 runs at -125